protected by the customs and laws under which even the most savage of
wars is conducted, and yet they were shot. Why ? Was the reason because
they were officers^ or Poles, or both? Why were they murdered so
a To-day the murdered men have arisen from their graves, and they
demand reparation from civilised peoples for this crime. Passed beyond
our world, they understand the people of this world and know how much
easier it is to pass judgment while the identity of the murderer is still
cloaked. When he is revealed, the political bearings on the situation will
twist the judgment of the jury.
cc The world must answer to this crime. How will it appear, when the
neutrals have seen this accusation and when there can be no doubt that
everyone has condemned this crime in his soul, and when both the Germans
and Russians are accusing the other of this crime, because neither wish to
acknowledge it as his own. How will it appear if we will not hear the voice
of accusation from those who are fighting in the name of Christianity for
the individual and for society ? Why then is there no public judgment
given regarding this crime ?
" If we do not heed this voice we shall lose our faith in the promised
punishment of war criminals . . . Honest people, and our friends—speak up
and say whether you believe in moral righteousness or only in a political
gamble covered by the falsehood of common phraseology ? Speak to-day,
to-morrow will be perhaps too late. We, who are standing over the graves
of our murdered men, ask of you so little. Don't fail us, lest the Hitlerian
cynicism revealed in their communique of yesterday was right when it
announced to the world that the c Poles have only two types of friends.
One are the Soviets, who are preparing the mass graves for them, and the
other the British and American, who are not willing to hinder the Bolsheviks
in the realisation of their c friendly' designs towards Poland.5
" . . . and you will not fail to see the next truth . . . You will understand
what future lies in store for Poland and the Poles. Not a fight, for in battle
both sides are armed and the weaker has a choice—victory or a soldier's
death. But our enemies desire to kill the Poles even as they are—defence-
less. To plunder, to exploit their work and afterwards to murder them so
that even the traces of their victims have perished . . . And now you
understand why we are so anxious about our frontiers. Each foot of our
soil which passes into the hand of our foe—is our grave, a mass grave ..."
" The record of the Russian Government is such,," wrote the New York
Times on April 27, " that not even its staunchest friend can reject the
story as beyond the possibility of having some basis in fact." The Katyn
story was to have tremendous repercussions in Europe, German propa-
ganda did its utmost to exploit the case to the full and undoubtedly it
had a great success. For some time c the kidnapping of Polish children
by the Soviets * and the * Katyn murders3 were GoebbeFs favourite topics.
It is difficult to establish the reasons which Moscow had at that time
for launching a propaganda offensive against the Polish Government.
Was it merely the Katyn affair or something else beneath the surface of
things ? On April 19, Pravda strongly criticised the Polish request for
the International Red Cross to investigate the German allegations^